Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake with Fromage Blanc Whipped Cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
¾ teaspoon grated orange zest
Bakers parchment paper
4 cups (about 2 pints) fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
6 ounces (¾ cup) fromage blanc cheese (see Note)
1. To prepare shortcake: Sift flour, 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor. (Alternatively, you can make the dough using a pastry cutter.) Pulse to combine. Add butter to flour mixture and pulse just until butter pieces become the size of peas. Combine 1 cup less 2 teaspoons of the cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla and orange zest in a small bowl and add to dough. Pulse until dough is just combined, 6 to 8 pulses. Remove dough from processor and knead gently once or twice to form a ball.
2. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, pat dough into a 6-by-9-inch rectangle, approximately ¾-inch thick. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator and straighten edges by pushing on them with the flat side of a large knife, such as a chef's knife. Cut rectangle into 6 squares and arrange 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush with reserved 2 teaspoons cream and sprinkle tops with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake 20 minutes or until shortcakes are golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and let cool at least 5 minutes on a wire rack.
4. While the shortcakes bake, place strawberries in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon sugar.
5. For the topping, whip remaining cup of cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add 1 ½ tablespoons sugar and ¾ teaspoon vanilla and stir gently. In another bowl, vigorously stir fromage blanc to soften it. Fold whipped cream into cheese. Refrigerate topping until ready to use, up to 2 hours before serving.
6. When shortcakes have cooled slightly, split in half and spoon about ½ cup strawberries over bottom halves. Place a generous dollop of topping over fruit and top with other half of shortcake. Finish with a small spoonful of topping and a couple of strawberry slices.
Note: Beecher's Honey Blank Slate is wonderful in this recipe.
From "Pure Flavor: 125 Fresh All-American Recipes from the Pacific Northwest" by Kurt Beecher Dammeier with Laura Holmes Haddad
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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